tv Meet the Press NBC October 18, 2009 10:30am-11:30am EDT
captions paid for by nbc-universal television this sunday, cost, coverage and compromise. inside the health care debate in washington. >> we are now closer than ever before to passing health care, but we are not there yet. >> what will it take to form a coalition large enough to pass legislation? will the president have to referee between the liberal and moderate wings ofis party? and will republicans remain united in their opposition? plus, outrage at wall street.
banks prepare to pay record bonuses. should the government step in? we'll hear from two key voices on the hill, a senior member of the health committee and chairman of the banking committee, democratic senator chris dodd of connecticut. and republican whip, senator jon kyl of arizona. then, a seismic shift in the makeup of the american workforce. so says a new report from maria shriver on the center for american progress. by the end of the year, for the first time in history, the majority of workers in the u.s. will be women. what impact is this having on american life? this morning, we kick off nbc's week-long series exploring a woman's nation, the first lady of california and nbc guest editor, maria shver. the president of the center for american progress, john podesta, and senior white house adviser, valerie jarrett, who charshe white house council on women and girls. finally, our "meet the
press" minute from september 10, 1972, a very different era and the fight for a very different notion of a woman's nation. >> what kind of choice is it, after all, to go out and earn half a man who is doing the very same work. but first, with the view from the white house, the president's senior adviser, valerie jarrett, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you, david. a delight to be here. >> good to have you here. let's talk about the economy. here's a headline that played predominantly this week from "the wall street journal. "wall street on track to award record pay, expanding profits, and yet here's a picture of what is now the obama economy since he came into office. the debt is up 12% at $11.9 trillion. the deficit is at $1.4 trillion. unemployment at 9.8%, up 36% sins he is took office, and jobs, 4.2 million jobs lost since the president has taken
office. wall street is healthier, but the american worker is not. >> well, that's right. i think we have to take a step back, david, and let's remember the conditions that the president inherited. a global medown, and we now realize it was far worse than we realized at the time when he came into office in january and what the president did is take very serious steps to get our economy back on track. he has pulled us back from this, and as a result we are losing 700,000 jobs a month, that has declose decreased steadily over the last nine months and we are beginning to see hope, but the unemployment rate is much too high and the president won't be satisfied until every single american who wants to work has a job. >> but what is he prepared to do in what looks to be a jobless recovery to make sure that jobs do get created the way he says he wants? >> first of all, he's done a great deal. the recovery bill that was passed by congress in record speed really saved off a disaster and we saved millions
of jobs around the country and we are on ack, we are already fully on track with the recovery bill and the spending going forward, but we have only spent a little less than half the money, so we still have a ways to go with the recovery bill. we know unemployment is a lagging indicator, we have always known that, but what we are doing is making sure we have the process in place so we can bring the very important jobs back. >> does there have to be a second stimulus, something done to specifically target job creation? >> we have done many things to target job creation. i think it is too soon, premature to say the second stimulus is needed. he has this huge national deficit and we have to do what we can to bring that down. at the time, it is important to stimulate the economy and the federal government has to do its part. that's why the recovery bill was so important. that's why many measure at the treasury department have taken place since then for housing or small business, they are all very important in stimulating the economy. so let's wait and see. let's let the recovery bill do its job. >> no amount of tax credit for employers, for instance? >> well, every morning, as you
know, the president meets with his economic advisers and the first thing he says is what are we doing to tackle the unplolt rate? there are a range of suggestions being considered right now by his ekment economic team and we'll see what comes forth. we are consulting with the every day americans who are struggling, we are trying to figure out what to do to figure out an incentive to make the country strong again. >> fair to say? >> everything is on the table. as you know, the president is always interested in what can we do to make our companies strong so they are going to grow and invest in our country. he is looking at all the pockets, but he's saying let's let the recovery bill passed by congress work. we are not halfway through that yet. >> let's turn to health care. the president in his radio address yesterday took on the insurance industry and some of the studies that they have submitted this week to challenge his version of reform. this is what he said.
>> it's smoking mirrors. it is bogus. and it is all too familiar. every time we get close to passing reform the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, take one of these and call us in a decade. well, not this time. >> what is tricking about this is that the insurance all along in this process has been the president's partner. that's what we have been led to believe and now we have the president taking on the insurance industry. is this a sign he believes the insurance industry is on the verge of killing reform? >> well, i think it is a sign that his frustration is that at the very last minute they would come up with a study that has been debungt over the last couple days, including by the people who prepared the study. at the same time, you have the business roundtable come out with a study that shows how costs are escalating and how the time is right now to take on this issue. so i think what you saw is the president expressing his frustration that at the last minute the insurance industry would try to potentially tank this bill. and it is not going to happen this time, and i think the
message we have seen from the president and the huge momentum that is moving through congress shows that the american people are ready for health care reform this year and nothing is going to stop that. >> but you have challenges from the insurance companies, you have in the political middle on capitol hill concerns about the cost, and even from the left, this was the headline in politco. the labor chief takes on the white house. the government workers across the country, he writes this in a "usa today" piece. union workers are often chosen to accept lower wages in exchange for better and more costly health insurance. he said, union members won't be afraid to remind politicians of that in next year's election. we worked for all of this and for obama and we only get a slap in the face. the taxes for this health care reform will ultimately hit the middle class. >> listen, david.
i'm cognizant that we have to reduce costs, encrew coverage, we have to make affordable, quality health care for all americans. those are the basic parameters the president set forth when we began this process. it is hard. it is complicated. if this was easy it would have happened under the five decades there have been efforts for health care reform, but what we have seen right nows for the first time in history five committees have passed legislation. there's an agreement on 90% of what we are trying to accomplish here and there's some momentum to move forward right now. so are the last-minute wranglings, are there people trying to maneuver? sure there are, but the momentum under president obama is clearly move forward now. >> will me heush for a public option? >> he made it clear throughout the process, he said it in his speech before congress that he thinks the public option is the right solution. he thinks it will enhance competition and reduce costs, give people choices. and hi said that throughout the process, so he's a big --
>> will he push for it and demand it here as in the final verse of reform? >> he has pushed for it, certainly, but he's realistic to say we have to look at all options. said clearly he thinks it is the best option and we'll see what happens. >> he is not demanding it is in there? >> he's not demanding it, but he thinks it is the last possible choice. let's not underestimate the progress we have made. we are right on the bring of delivering for the american people, and that's a positive sign for our country. >> but there's a lot of supporters of this president who look at health care reform in the context of other thing that is he promised in the campaign, and what are we seeing? a promise for universal health care, you have 17 million people who wouldn't be insured under this plan. a promise for a public option, now you are saying he doesn't demand it. the man or the of the campaign was "yes we can." has that become maybe? >> no, it is not. it has become "yes we can." they provide more assurance to the american people they are going to have the kind of affordable health care, they are
going to reduce their costs, they won't have to choose between paying rent and paying for health care, if they had a pre-existing condition, they are going to be covered. if they want to go in and have all kind of exams, they are going to be covered by that. so much in the bills is going to benefit the american people, but we have come so far and can't lose sight of that. are we there yet? no, but under president obama we are exit committed to delivering on the behalf of the american people. >> before we go, i want to get your comment on a couple develops stories. the swine flu. there's a big delay in the vaccines reaching communities. there's some 10 to 12 million fewer vaccine doses available, an yet we know younger kids are getting sicker frequently with diddlyier results. did the government overpredict in terms of dealing with this? >> no. we have been working hard over the summer. in the terms of science, you can only produce the vaccine as quickly as it will grow and we are working hard to get the information out. we are working with the governors and mayors across the
country. anyone with questions should go to flu.gov to see how to get the vaccine. we are focusing every single day on making sure we can get out ahead of this the best way we can, but you can only push science as fast as it will go. >> but the delay will have an impact. >> the delay will have some impact, but it is important people are cog cy san antonio of symptoms to look out for, they take reasonable precautions, there's a lot we can do to keep ourselves from getting the illness. if you do get sick, please stay home. if you are wondering weather whether you have the right sympto symptoms, go to flu.gov without going to a doctor. if you get ill, go to the doctor. just take reasonable precautions, if you sneeze, cover your mouth, et cetera. it is a serious illness, there are 41 states now with serious outbreaks. you are right, the pediatric fatalities have been larger than we have seen in normal flu outbreaks, so it is a serious illness and we encourage
everybody as soon as you can to get vaccinated. >> valley jarrett. we get more of you today. stick around to be part of the conversation in "a woman's nation" coming up in a few minutes. stay where you are. we are now going to introduce by remote, chairman of the banking committee, senator chris dodd and republican whip senator jon kyl. senators, welcome back to the program. >> thank you. >> thank you, david. >> senator dodd, i want to start with you. you are involved in the negotiations to figure out the final form of health care legislation and you are hearing from valerie jarrett this morning, a senior adviser to the president, he will not demand a public option as most of his supporters want. will it be in there? should it be in there? >> well, it should be in there because for a number of reasons, not just for the politics of it, but if you are trying to increase competition, drive down costs, reduce the impact on the federal budget, these are all reasons why a public option is necessary if you truly try to get your arms around this. what we have drafted here in these bills, i think, gives us
the opportunity and the chance. and the absence of that, the alternative is to make this more afoshdable by driving ub subsidies to increase the cost of the bill, so we have tough choices to make, but i think the public option makes the most sense, if, in fact, you want competition. >> how is it going to happen? the president is not going to push for it. who is going to push this across the finish line? >> well, the president is deeply involved. the president is very much for it, said so the other day, and my hope is when bringing the bills together over the next two days, it will include the strong public option. then the full senate, as jon knows, has the opportunity to vote to take it out or modify it in some way, but my strong belief is to include it. >> aren't we beyond strong belief i mean, isn't this brass tax time? what do you have in terms of votes? you have one democrat not for it.
conservative republicans are not for it. they have the most influence over the final package here? >> david, you will recall this spring i had a number of bills come up that came out of committee in one-votemargins. it if you end up on the floor of the senate, you find sometimes you get more. half the senate is involved in the finance committee, the other half has given talks about this and would like to express themselves. i have not given up on this. we have the credit card legislation that i drafted that came out of the banking committee with one vote margin. passed on the senate 90-5. the same is true of the to basketball ko administration. passed the senate 85-7 or something like. that i'm still confident when we get to the floor, and you have to make a choice between bringing down costs, effective the budget as well as increasing competition, then we have a good, good chance of including the public option in the bill. >> senator kyl, who has the most influence over the process. i mentioned the head of the asme union, this is something he said
in "the wall street journal" this week. he writes this, now we've got a democrat in the white house and we expect some positive things. it looks like we catered to senator olympia snowe. my god, she's a republican. i thought we won. why is the republican party in the congress completely opposed? don't you have somebody who has more similar views influencing the process? >> well, first of all, it is obvious there's a bit fight within the democratic party, the house and the senate and more conservative and liberal members. the republicans are on the sideline here. we offered a lot of amendments that were all rejected on party line votes. the bill being written right now is written in harry reid's office behind closed doors with chris and max baucus and the leader and others, no republicans need apply to come into that room. i think, though, if i could, david, it is a little bit bedes the point this whole question of the public option. it is an important issue, but it
is not the most important issue. at the end of the day, while i totally disagree with chris on whether it is a good idea to have it in there, he's right that in a form it will be in there, but what they are really good at doing is putting it in a different package, putting a different colored ribbon around it to say it is only the public option if things don't work out in a couple of years or something like that. that's the cce a lot of republicans have. it is why we have offered alternatives that do not rely upon a big government takeover and a public insurance company, but rather use the markethat we have today, focusing on patients and trying to ensure that we can bring down costs and increase access to care without totally reforming the entire health care system. >> senator dodd, the idea of a public option in some storm form, one of the things talk bd about is the idea of a trigger, the washington language for if in a private system you don't have enough competition, you don't have enough competition bringing down prices ultimately for the consumer that a government plan could kick in later on down the line.
would yo support that? >> absolutely not. >> is that for me, david? >> senator dot dodd. >> i'm sorry. >> listen, as i said n the health care committee bill, we have a very strong public option that does exactly what i have described. obviously, to move forward here, my hope is we'll keep that. but let me also suggest something to you here, david. i thought olympia snowe said it well the other day. when history calls, history calls. what are the alternatives here if we do nothing? as some are suggesting, by the way, as jon knows, more than half the amendments documented in the markup were offered by the republican side as we accepted as part of the bill, but if you look in the next seven years, we could have premium costs go from $13,000 to $24,000. 3.5 million jobs could be lost in the prose. is the cost of business could double to nearly $1 trillion as a result of doing nothing. the impact of doing notng is so much more costly than what we are talking here that my hope
would be that we get together on this. the american public cannot wriststand more years of prizing rising costs, rising people yums and more unemployment. >> it is interesting, senator kyl, in terms of the moral imperative, you and other republicans have said this health care reform should be opposed and one of the major reasoned you cite is how much money it costs. how much it could potentially add to the deficit, although the president said it would be deficit-neutral. when you talk about the war in afghanistan and the commanders having more troops, i never heard you said that should be definite neutral, that war costs should somehow not break the bank. why is that disparity there? >> david, no country can afford to scrimp and save or try to win a war on the cheap. the president himself has said that the war in afghanistan against these terrorists who killed over 3,000 americans on september 11th, 2001, is a war of necessity. you have to win it. and americans throughout our history have sacrificed when war
has called for us to do that. >> and is it a necessaricy to tackle the fact there are more and more american who is die because they don't have access to health insurance? >> i'm not sure that it is a fact that more and more people die because they don't have health insurance, but because they don't have health insurance, the care is not delivered in the best and most efficient way. republicans have a lot of good ideas, and all those amendments chris were talking about were technical amendments. we have good ideas on how to tackle this program one piece at a time and basically regain the trust of the american people by taking one step at a time rather than saying that we have to have a trillion-dollar bill, yes, that will hurt the deficit. remember, we had the figures come out earlier this week, a $1.4 trillion deficit, more than all of the last four budget deficits combined. so when we are spending on war and when we are spending on other things we need to have, we don't have to spend as much on health care. we can do it one step at a time to target the problems that we have with targeted solutions.
>> senator dodd, one more question on health care. and to bring a bottom line in here, crystal ball time, after all this debate, you have said getting a pretty good bill is not enough. so in the end, what version of health care reform gets passed? >> well, i think a strong bill that does exactly what we have talked about, increasing the access, increasing quality and making it affordable. affordability. affordabilit in jon's state, there are 9,000 people without insurance, one in five in arizona, he losed 280 people a day that drop insurance. i lose 100 a day. i lost 28,000 people in connecticut that have had their insurance drop because they have lost their jobs. in the last year alone, david, those ki of numbers cannot continue. the people in arizona and the people of connecticut, for everyone uninsured person fays pays $2,000 a year. we need to address this issue. so i'm hopeful accessibility,
profitability, but affordability. middle income families will be critical. >> let me move on here. go ahead, quickly. >> this oliver wineman study, not the one that you criticized earlier, in my state increased premiums for a family under this bill, $7,400. that's not the kind of reform arizona families are looking for. >> let me move on to the issue of what's happening on wall street and its expanded bonus pool and record profits. this is what the wall street journal reported this week. major u.s. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their employees about $140 billion this year, a record high that shows compensation is rebounding despite regulatory scrutiny of wall street's pay culture. they are on track to increase 20% from last year's $1177 billion and to top 2007's $130 billion payout. senator dodd, you are chairman of the banking committee, all these bailouts, the state of the american worker, is there something upde down and wrong
here? >> well, no, david. look, first of all, the good news is the economy is getting better and stronger. the numbers today are not great, but they are a lot better than they were. we are not talking about a depression as we were a year ago. things are getting better. obviously,hen you see the bonuses being paid out, it is a source of outrage in the country and it should be. what are these people thinking about in the companies? we import a lot of hard-paying tax money to get our economy moving again. we have banks not providing credit to small businesses to get the economy moving. things like the clunker bill, we are working to extend the tax credit for our home purr charss, not just new home buyers, things to get the economy moving again. the firms on wall street need to understand what they are doing by providing the bonuses, particularly when they receive some federal money is an outrage in the country and my home that ken fineberg and others can do
something about getting the firms to back up and reduce the bonuses. >> senator kyl, should there be limits on the compensation that the government sets? >> in the event that the government basically becames one of the outfits out, it has the right and the ability as chris just noted to put limits on the compensation and the kind of compensation. but i think we need to get -- be a lift careful about this. in the baucus bill passed last week on health care, there's a little on insurance company salaries, not just for the top executives, but any employee or any consultant, the people that work for any consultant that's hired. so let's be a little careful we don't get the government intruding in the business of america to the extend that our free enterprise system is crippled by business regulations. >> finally, a final qution, senator dodd, on politics. the politics of 2010. a quote in a recent poll, your job approval rate in connecticut is below 50% at 43%. why do you think voters are losing confidence in you?
>> well, david, i'm not sure it is. we have been through a tough time over the last year, but i'm confident, again, due to the job of working hard on the people you represent the numbers wil turn around. the polls are a snapshot, i pay attention to them, but i wish they were better. i'm confident a year from now that if i continue working hard on their behalf, that these things will turn around. >> we will leave it there, senator dodd, senator kyl, thank you both very much. and coming up next here. "a woman's nation." a special report on the state of women in america. maee ja shriver, john podesta and more with valerie jarrett. and a look back with gloria stine mooum here on "meet the press."
report: a woman's nation changes everything." and we have john podesta. here is the report. i think there's a couple of real standout takeaways to get us started this morning. the first thing is about the status of the women in the workforce and here it is. we'll put it on the screen. look at that. now nearly 50%, and by the end of the year, they will be 50% of the workforce, compare that to 1950 when women were just 29.6%. and there's more. almost 40%, 40% of working wives are earning as much or more than their husbands. they are the breadwinners. how do those two points underscore the title of this report, "a woman's nation." how do those make "a woman's nation?" >> the changes are permanent. women are half of the workforce, 2/3 of mothers are primary winners. this is where we are now in the country and that change effects every institution that this country is dealing with. less than 30% of kids have a
stay-at-home parent today. what impact does that have to the government, to business, to men, to women to faith-based institutions? so this report tries to chapter those things out and say all of these institutions have failed to adapt to this change that has happened and that in order for them to survive and become smart about the american worker they must adapt andust change. >> valley jarrett, we are talking about the government a little bit, but as a woman, as a top adviser to the president, as aormer busess executive and most important as a mom. what does this mean? >> well, first of all, i want co congratulate maria and john for having pulled the report together. it is the mom mall. we have reviewed it. we are just overwhelmed by their willingness to put the effort into this and to bling this to the national spotlight and to you for giving us this forum on "meet the press" to discuss this morning issue. i'm a single mom. i know what it is like to try to meet the goals of your job and be professional and still raise
a child and have it turn out as well as i think my child has turned out to be. you can't do that alonend the existing institutions really have to change to foster this new dynamic. and the fact of the matter is it isn't just about women. i chair the council of women and girls, we saw all the time this is a family issue. we have to look at this from the perspective ofow can this family thrive in the new work environment and how can we foster the changes we need both in business and government, faith-based institutions, nonfor profits, all it comes together to meet this new dynamic that we have in the workforce. >> what's interesting, this is very much my life. this reflects my life. i'm blessed t be married to my wife beth who is a prominent trial lawyer and so some of these realities i've been living with all the time that i've been married, but these are profound changes. >> right. and i think they kind of snuck up on us. i noted in the book my mother in
the 1950s went to work, my parents whatted a tag-team marriage. they kind of snuck up on us and what we thought in doing this report and in the partnership with maria was really focusing on the fact that now two-thirds of women in america are breadwinners or co-breadwinners to force change in the way business and government, faith-based institutions, the media take a look at the issues and provide more flex blgt for people to try to relieve the stress that comes from having people trying to work, but, look, the balance is over, david. three quarters of the american public think this is a good development that is here to stay and it is critical to the economic success. >> that idea of the battle of the sex being over. in your essay in the report you write about this and this is what you say. what we have heard loud and clear is that the battle between th sexes is over. it was a draw. now we are engaged in negotiations between the sexes.
virtually all married coupled told the poller thes they are negotiating the rules of their relationships, work and family. an overwhelming majority said they are sitting down at their kitchen tables to coordinate their family's schedules, duties, and responsibilities, including childcare and elder care. men said it was more like every day. >> right. what was interesting to me about that was how often people were sitting down, what they were negotiating, how much more involved this generation of men are in raising families but still overwhelmingly women feel primarily responsibility for all the childcare and all the elder care. elder care is a huge issue in this country today. and when we talk about people being able to take time off from work to care for an elderly parent, something like 300,000 teenagers in america are caring for people with alzheimer's. the institutions need to adapt to what the america family is today. they need to get smarter, they
need to get more progressive and i think we should throw out the term family-friendly. it is smart family policy. it is smart for business, businesses retain women, do well with the bottom line. this is smart government policy to figure out how to help and support the american worker who is stretched. men and women on both ends of the spectrum. >> but there's still -- as i have been thinking about this, valerie, there are different expectations on women versus men. we can talk about negotiations, you know, negotiation in my own marriage over all of our various responsibilities with two careers and with three children, and yet whether it is the kids or how they we sound respond to my wife when she comes home at tend of the day or the reaction they have when she leaves is different when i leave. there are different expectations that women are still challenged by. >> well, that's right. there are. that's why we have to make se that the workplace setting is one that is sensitive to those and also, david, more and more
women are getting involved in childcare. they are taking more of a role and we want to create for the family more flexibility in the workplace environment. we are all telling personal stories, and i think it is important to reflect on the president's life. he was raised, too, by a single mom a experienced firsthand what it was like to see a mother make difficult choices often involving him to be away from her so she could do her work. in marriage with a professional woman, who in tell became first lady, had her own independent career. >> made more money and outranked him. >> exactly. and was trying to raise the two beautiful children and balance the needs of being a good mom and yet trying to be professional and being a spouse. so i think that these are issues that they have lived throughout their entire life, so it sensitiz them and makes themselves challenge our administration to do whatever we can to make sure that we encourage the private sector and the government to develop the necessary flexibility. the first woman recently spoke at a conference involving corporation that is are
supporting family-friendly environments, so figuring out what are the best practices in the private sector to duplicate in government and share around the country because there are many corporations out there who are very successful while being flexible. in fact, you can make the case that part of why they are so successful is because they give their employees more flexibility. so what are we going to do collectively as a society to make the necessary shifts to support this new family structure. >> yeah, and i want to get to the issue of changes, but i still want to live in the changing dynamic a little bit because, maria, even if there's a change in how we see power between men and women, you still have the male ego. >> i know about that. i have experienced that one. >> but the issue of -- you know, are men comfortable talking about the fact that their wives earn more than they do? >> i found men very receptive to
this conversation. that's why we wanted to make sure that this report had a whole chapter on men, because men are asking what is expected of us today? we want to be more involved in the care taking of our children. we don't like, really, the way our fathers did it and we are more involved. we understand that elder care is a huge issue and we don't know how much we should be involved or we want to be involved, but what -- valerie was talking about the best practices of business. businesses that bring men and women together do better than those who don't because men don't know what women are talking about and they need to be brought up topeed about what women want, what women expect and what women need to be successful at home and at work. >> it is interesting, from the report about how businesses should deal with the issue with the report talking about this, specifically about businesses, the conversations no longer about whether women will work but how businesses will deal with the fact that workforce is made up of women.
men and women share in some of the care responsibilities. >> right. clearly, women still bare the burden of caring for children and elderly parents over men, but i think that's changing. there's more equality in the workplace, but to your previous question, one of the reasons we did the poll with rockefeller and "time" magazine was to ask the question of men, how do they feel about this? 80% said they were fine with women earning more than men in the household. so i think attitudes have really changed and the reason they have changed is because families are extremely dependent today on the ability for a woman to bring home that paycheck, to provide for the well being of the family. and i think that is not a woman's issue or a men's issue, that's a family issue and an economic issue. i think that government and business need to get onboard on that and i think businesses need to be as it was noted more
flexible about creating the circumstance where women and men can have the reflectability to lead good lives. >> before men leave the home to go to the business, what about dealing with her husband and the idea of what should we do as men here to sort of adapt? jamaal simmons wrote a terrific report in the essay in which he says this, wrelgs ships these days are different. the woman you committed to today may have the same name and social security number as the woman who are with tomorrow, but she may want completely different things in her life at different times in her life. with her the only remaining rule seems to be, stay flexible. >> isn't that probably the best advice we have heard? relationships evolve over time and you have to be flexible and you do have to communicate. you have to talk to each other about the challenges. i think that more and more men are paying attention to the challenges that their significant ohs are facing and what it is like to get your child ready before you have to leave for work in the morning and having appropriate day care, we have to be investing more in
day care so women have a safety net on the campaign trail. the first lady said and said so well, if you are worried about your children, you can't breathe. and every mother knows that feeling. so making sure there's a safety net around, but i also want to make another point just to be clear. although women are oftentimes making more money than men, let's be clear that in the same jobs they are not. women are still paid significantliless than men for the same job. so as we are looking at the workforce, we also have to be cognizant of what we have to do to make sure women can compete at equal levels. that begins with education. and one of our investments in the obama administration is getting more women into science, technology, engineering and math so they can go into fields and really compete on a level playing field with men. so i don't want to give the impression that in the workforce women are still paid on an equal level, they are not. >> and a very important point is that 70% of the job losses in the recession have been in mail-dominated businesses and
therefore women are the primary breadwinners and they make less than the man. they don't havehe benefits often associated with the man's job. so all of this, that's why all the instu tugss need to change. the government can become a model employer. best practice that is businesses are putting forth, whether it is 10,000 women, ibm, virtual employees, tell commuting, there's a lot of interesting stuff going on in the country, but it rests on you need to be paid equally for the work and the government can really step forward and set an agenda for modern workplace. >> and to that point, because in some couples it m be both people are working and maybe that's a choice they are making, it is not about money. and i a lot of homes it isn't a choice. you need both the husband and the wife working. this is -- one of the polls associated with this report found what needs to change in the workplace and what do workers want to change. look at that, among men and women, by far the biggest demand was for more flexible work
hours. maria, it is interesting, just this week i had a conversation at nbc news with a female executive about some of the things that i'm doing, not my hours per se, but some of the things i should be engaged in and one of the things that came up in the conversation, i said i need to be flexible with my wife's schedule who is traveling as lair. i thought to myself -- her response was absolutely. you have to come to me and let me know what works. with that conversation, would it have happened 20 years with ago with a female executive and myself bringing these issues up? >> no. and the point is so many women in our poll express the fear for asking for that in their workplace. they feel if they go forward and see i need time off for elder care or childcare or i'll be late or my spouse is traveling or i'm a single mom they can't ask for it or they will be penalized by asking. >> let's be fair, if we were both in that position, would we have brought that same issue up
with a male executive if it wasn't a female executive? would we feel safe saying i need to work with my wife a little bit? >> this is an ongoing conversation, david. that's why we are negotiating across this table and kitchen tables across the country, but there's no question. look, the united kingdom took the step of giving people the right to a least have a negotiation with the boss, that they have a legal right that they can raise it with their boss. and i think that one of the things that the administration can do, that the federal government can do, is bome the model employer with this. we tried to do that with the clinton administration, the bush administration and now the obama administers is working on this. people need the right to go forward and say i have a sick child, i have an elderly parent, i need to accommodate my schedule to take care of this. valerie mentioned in the earlier segment, if your kid is sick, make sure they stay home if they have the flu. well, if you are telling that to a person who doesn't have the
ability to take that day off with pay, that's a very different request than telling someone who does. so i think we need to alter the way we deal with this in the workforce with more opportunity. >> whether it is the workplace or government, ultimately, there have to be more momentum built up, and maybe it is more men saying i need this kind of flexibility, too. what really forces change? because we see out of the graphic up there, the way we work, the way our institutions operate, you mentioned this, john n your writi on this, like school getting out at 3:00, it is not compatible with this desire among more men and women to say, look, i need to stagger this up to make murder of this work. >> i think that's exactly right. part of what we are doing is putting the spotlight on the issue. when the president created the white house council on women and girls, he put the spotlight on the issue as well. the fa he has a woman who is labor secretary is looking at the issues and looking to figure out the best way to encourage
the workforce, not penalize negative behavior, but put the spotlight on companies doing the right thing and who are successful, growing, expanding and who recognize that if you give the flexibility to your workforce you actually have a more productive workforce. >> the issue in all of this, maria, is are all the changes really the best thing for society? and there are different views on this. look at fog polling on this. the impact of fewer stay-at-home parents on society. positive or negative? most people think it is negative. in terms of political divide, among republicans 81% say it is negative, among democrats, a much different number, 53%. there are still very different vies and it breaks down politically whether it is the right thing. >> i think everybody thinks it is a good thing when a child is home sic that a parent or caretaker is there. that's why the right to request flexibility is so important in this country today. what people said in this poll
over and over is that these institutions have not kept up with the change in american life. they don't see themselves reflected in the media. they don't see enough of these kinds of conversations going on in the media. they feel government is not modern, is not smart about the way it deals with the american family. so i think that people, people also overwhelmingly think it is good that women have gone to work, but if they can go to work, come home, flit summary day in some way, be there for their children, then people get the best of both word worlds. >> we'll talk about this in the context of politics. hillary clinton on the campaign trail last year. a lot of people think she could have certainly been the president had she defeated barack obama in the primaries. sarah palin was first woman running as a vice presidential candidate for the republican party. john podesta, when do our politics reflect the change we are seeing in this report? >> so far it is a lagging indicator. i think if you look at what's
happened in the professions, et cetera, and you look at what's happened in politics, it is a tougher road to haul, particarly, in executives, although we have had women governors and obviously we have now had women fairly successfully run for the top jobs in our country, but it is a kind of lagging indicator. and i think that as society changes, we'll see more and more women, obviously, we have a woman speaker of the house. so society is changing more and more that will be reflected, i think, in the way we see our politics, but right now it is a tougher burden for a woman to rough for office. >> you talk about your own mom, eunice shriver, today she could run and could probably win, and yet hillary clinton with all the access in the democrat inparty with a former president as her husband, she was unable to previle. are there women who have the momentum behind the candidacy? >> i think sure. what was interesting to me in going around the country, though, a lot of women looked at
well-known women who were in politics or running businesses and they said i don't want that life because those women are treated poorly, they get knocked around, why would i want to put myself out there and just get the you know what kicked out of me for what? so i think that it is not that women aren't confident, but women view success differently than men, they do power differently than men a they want different lives than men. >> to be continued, for sure. i think this conversation will continue in a lot of places. thank you all very much. you can find much more information on "a woman's nation" including the entire report on mtp.msnbc.com. and up next, "a woman's nation" in 1972. a look back to the year of the equal rights amendment. title 9 and the publication of ms. magazine. gloria stine num here on "meet the press."
"meet the press" minute this morning. in the 1960s the civil rights movement in the united states was in full swing. women angry about economic, social and political inequality between the sexes to verify to the streets demanding equal pay for equal works. by the 1970s the equality for women had become more mainstream, but the fight for equality in the workplace continued. women made up 36% of the workforce but earned only 59 cents to the dollar of their male counterparts. equality, sexism and the women's movement all issues discussed right here on "meet the press" in september of 1972. the guest, activist gloria steinem who just launched the first magazine "ms." >> you made a speech before the national press club this year and you said, i quote, women are not taken seriously. we are undervalued, ridiculed or ignored by society which
consciously and unconsciously assumed the white male is the standard and the norm. what is your explanation for this serious state of affairs in view of the fact that men males are at least virtually controlled and dominated by women from birth to puberty and often beyond that. why haven't you done a better job if you are as smart as you say you are? >> well, that's your statement, not mine that men are virtually controlled by women from birth onward. i mean, if you take a very inintelligent peon with the normal hopes and ambiouses and confine her to the home, she becomes sometimes overdominated within those four wams as a man would be as well, but the truth of her situation is that she has no real power over her life outside the home, nor does she have power over the economics or the politics of her life. so, you know, i wouldn't accept the premise of that statement. >> well, isn't this an opportunity to brainwash the male during those early
formative years? why doesn't she do it? >> well, i think it is beginning to change, not to brainwash, but to be objective for a change and to eliminate the sex and the race stereotypes, but women have been encouraged to invest their hopes and their dreams in their male children and convinced that their female children could not meet those expectations and to defend on their male children in their old age and so on and to have been made to realize the rather severe danger and risks of not perpetuating the small amount of well being that they have in the system as it is what kind of choice is it after all to be able to go out and earn half as much of a man for doing the very same work. could she support her family? could she support her children? should she tell her daughter that she could? i think not. >> we'll get reaction to that interview and ask our panel of